Well, when I was a kid, my parents at that point were not really listening to anything, because they were kind of caught up in raising a kid, and did regular family stuff, they didn’t really — their musical life was kind of — when they were younger before I was born, they were kind of hipsters, kind of. I mean, they were buying like the stuff you would have read about in Essence Magazine, or like Playboy, even though Playboy wasn’t around the house. But I think with my own musical taste as a kid, I kind of had two simultaneous tracks going. I did kind of go the regular route. I was listening to Jackson 5 as a very young kid.
And then other popular music that people of my school were listening to mainly because I didn’t want to be ostracized from the type of social life that kids have, that some of it does center around the rituals of the bands people listen to. But at the same time, I had a whole parallel life going, where I was checking out jazz and classical music.1 And some of it from my parents record collection, which was things like Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck. They had some Ellington, Basie albums, Clifford Brown, mainly because he was from my hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, and my mother was very close friends with Clifford Brown.
They had a lot of light classical — well, by light, I mean like kind of pop pianists that had classical backgrounds, like some Liberace, Roger Williams and things like that. And then they had some classical music, not any like 20th Century heavy stuff like that, but they had some Rubinstein, some Horowitz, and other things. So, I think I was just checking everything. And I don’t even know if I had like a valve where I — this was this, and this was this. It was just all different stuff. And I was kind of interested in why anybody made the decisions they did, and did what they did, whatever it was, whether it was a Sun Ra thing, or whether it was Roger Williams playing Autumn Leaves like a Chopin.